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History

A catastrophic event of unprecedented dimensions gave shape to the passing of humankind into the age of interstellar space travel. The first true starship, the "Unity", was annihilated in a cataclysmic explosion, laying waste to large parts of the surface of planet Earth. At this time, some of the corporations of Earth had already moved their headquarters to other celestial bodies within the solar system - led by 'Luna Technology', one of the first enterprises to undertake this step. They were hardly affected by the disaster and generously pledged their support for reconstruction. Interplanetary economics started to flourish as a consequence of these activities, organized from beyond the surface of planet Earth. The interest of the corporations in extending their influence to new worlds grew.

Near the end of the 22nd century, 'Luna Technology' finally succeeded in equipping a spaceship with a safe star drive. The ship reached the star system Proxima on February 26, 2145, and visited the two 'Rigel Kentaurus' systems just a short time after that. While no planets similar to Earth were found on those first voyages, the abundance of resources made the potential for colonization evident. The CTR, which fulfilled the role of global government in the years of reconstruction, could hardly stop the corporations from dividing interstellar space up between them. In the following years, history of humankind was shaped by the rapid expansion into uncivilized space, the reproduction of artificial humans by the 'Echelon Biolabs' corporation, and ultimately, the discovery of alien lifeforms on many worlds, culminating in the first contact with the civilization of the Ychon.

The "Unity" disaster

In the year 2081, the prototype of the first interstellar drive was unveiled to the public. Seventeen years later, the first starship was ready to undertake its maiden voyage. A joint project of all spacefaring nations, the "Unity" was intended to herald a new age of cooperation of nation-states. To satisfy the enormous energy requirements of the star drive, the "Unity" was equipped with a new type of reactor which could draw its energy from the vacuum of space. For all practical purposes, this ZPE-reactor could supply a near infinite output of power. However, this type of reactor was also extremely vulnerable to malfunctions - a fact which became tragically evident in the events that unfolded shortly after the "Unity" took off from beyond the shores of western Africa.

Just minutes after takeoff, a malfunction in the reactor led to an uncontrolled release of energy comparable to a direct hit of a meteorite of several kilometers in diameter. Masses of white hot rock were catapulted into orbit and left a trail of destruction across the surface of Earth. Large cities were torched or reduced to rubble by the impact of rocks. The atmosphere turned dark for several weeks. Flood waves caused devastating damage to coastal regions. Transport and communications infrastructure broke down in many regions, rescuers could not be effectively dispatched. Over five billion, about a fourth of the global population at that time, lost their lives in the apocalyptic event.

Following the "Unity" disaster, Earth desparately depended on the support of its extraterrestial colonies on Moon and Mars. The budding infrastructure on these worlds was unaffected by the event, and the corporations sensed profitable business opportunities for the foreseeable future. For the largest corporations, there was also an unique chance to extend their political influence.

Reconstruction

Pressed by the most powerful of the corporations, 'Luna Technology' and 'Alpha Spaceflight', a preliminary government was forged out of the remains of the old governments of the terran nation-states, now largely incapacitated by the aftermath of the disaster. This government was called the Council for Terran Reconstruction (CTR). It was intended to coordinate the reconstruction in close cooperation with the corporations. Simply put, its primary purpose became to hand out billions worth of contracts for reconstruction to the helpers.

Year Event
2040 'Luna Technology' moves its corporate headquarters to the Moon and becomes the first enterprise located outside of Earth.
2050 'Luna Technology' specializes in interplanetary transport systems.
2081 The prototype of the interstellar drive is unveiled.
2093 Dr. Gabriel Cepheus Michelson takes over the majority of 'Echelon Biology Labs' from his father.
2098 The "Unity"-disaster annihilates a large portion of humankind and makes Earth nearly uninhabitable.
2099 The CTR, predecessor of the later government of the Terran Star State, the CSE, is founded.
2100 The foundations for the artificial city 'Terra Haven' are laid on the western coast of Europe.
2100 'Luna Technology' transfers the remains of their old headquarters from Toulouse to the Moon.
2112 Dr. Gabriel Cepheus Michelson (CEO of 'Echelon Biology Labs') makes his last appearance in public.
2132 A major breakthrough in the miniaturization of fusion reactors is reached. This allows preliminary abandonment of the dangerous ZPE technology.
2145 'Luna Technology' succeeds in the first interstellar voyage to Proxima and Rigel Kentaurus.
2150 Realtime interstellar communications become possible.
2155 The 'Federation of Colonies', predecessor to the Terran Star State, is founded.
2170 Beginning of the colonization surge.
2170 The Council for Terran Reconstruction (CTR) is renamed to 'Council of Space Exploration' (CSE), which is supposed to better represent its new mission.
2172 Founding of the Terran Star State.
2190 The prototype of the 'cerebral interface' is presented to the public.
2192 The existence of extraterrestial life is officially confirmed.
2192 The 'Echelon Biolabs' present their plan to increase the population with artificially created humans to the CSE.
2193 The 'Echelon Biolabs' start to produce artificial humans in a secret facility below Olympus Mons on Mars.
2194 'Ulf Petersen' (CEO of 'Luna Technology') is born in 'Terra Haven' on Earth.
2200 A fringe civilization starts to form in the Rim.
2203 'Arleen Arway' (President of the 'Terra Star State') is born on Mars.
2205 The 'Echelon Biolabs' entrust AIs with the supervision of the genetic pool for the creation of artificial humans.
2207 'Lydia McAllen' (spokesperson of 'Alpha Spaceflight') is born in the Alpha Centauri system.
2210 It becomes possible to produce antimatter in technically and economically feasible amounts.
2210 Unnoticed by the public and persons in charge alike, the first psionically gifted humans are rolled out from the facilities of 'Echelon Biolabs'.
2213 The government of the Terran Star State and the 'Echelon Biolabs' officially confirm the existence of the Psionics.
2215 The 'artificial intelligence' Zeno surfaces to the public as the first 'free AI'.
2220 'Alpha Spaceflight' starts construction of its own war fleet.
2236 First contact is established to the Ychon, an intelligent extraterrestial species.
2240 'Alpha Spaceflight' moves its headquarters to the star system 'Alpha One'.
2240 Self-reproducing nanotechnology is obtained from the Ychon in exchange for the technology of the star drive.
2242 Launch of the great spaceship carrier '„T.S.S. Twin Sun”' of the TSSF.
2244 'Luna Space Rescue' commissions a modern space rescue fleet.
2245 'Arleen Arway', formerly CEO of 'Luna Technology', becomes President of the Terran Star State.
2246 Launch of the great spaceship carrier '„A.S.S. Star Dawn”' of 'Alpha Spaceflight'.
Chronology - Important events in the history of the Terran Star State

The colonization surge

In the fifteen years following the first faster-than-light journey, people on the inner colonies struggled to adapt their lives to the circumstances on the celestial bodies in the Sol system. Meanwhile, the most powerful of the corporations were busy developing strategies for unlimited expansion. No one wanted to be the last to establish an outpost beyond the home star system of humanity. New colonies sprang up like mushrooms. In the year 2155, a large majority of the colonies united as the 'Federation of Colonies' to represent their common interests before the CTR. The other colonies joined the 'Federation of Colonies' in the following years, only some of them maintained independence. Others were even annexed by force by the corporations. Sol, however, with all its planets, as the seat of government of the world, remained an antipole to the 'Federation of Colonies'. At this time, political and ideological tension was high across the whole of civilized space, and there were many ocassions when it unloaded itself in covert operations or even outright violent showdowns of power. It was a good time for adventures, for establishing enterprises, for making fortunes or losing them. Legal businesses sprang up, as well as the first forms of space piracy.

Business with commodities and cheap automatized production flourished. Expansion surged starting from 2170, when 'Alpha Spaceflight', 'Luna Technology' and the 'Allstar Colony' corporation commissioned dedicated fleets for exploration of distant star systems and construction of outposts. In the following years, the borders of the nascent Terran Star State were pushed outward at a breathtaking pace. The Council for Terran Reconstruction was renamed to 'Council of Space Exploration' (CSE) and officially took on the role of world government. It was given power to supervise the distribution of uncivilized space between the factions, and put an end to the chaos of the early years of the surge with its own fleet. The Terran Star State was finally founded in 2172, when Terra itself joined the 'Federation of Colonies' and the name thus became inappropriate. Seen on the surface, this effectively put an end to much of the unrest and earlier political struggles. But conflicts continued to smolder and discharge behind the scenes of the newly established order.

The expansion started to stagnate only about twenty years after the beginning of the surge. Human civilization had spread itself across a vast expanse of space, but it had not grown in numbers accordingly. Corporations were missing the markets for their products. Although they had added countless star systems, planets and moons to their inventories, there seemed to be a lack of inhabitants. In addition, more personnel was required to supervise the complex technology. The demand could not be satisfied out of the few colonists which had been stationed on the worlds beyond the inner colonies as employees of the corporations.

The artificial humans

Recognizing the desperate situation, the thus far little known biotech enterprise 'Echelon Biology Labs' approached the CSE in 2192. The corporation, located on Mars, had achieved considerable advancements in the field of reproductive cloning and offered to the world government population increase as a product. While this was still being ferociously debated in the council, other corporations, 'Alpha Spaceflight' above all, were delighted. It was only a short time after the project was approved by the CSE that orders started to pile up within the headquarters of 'Echelon Biolabs'. The first results of artificially created citizens were somewhat satisfying. Apparently they were not inferior in any way to naturally conceived humans. However, they were also invariably linked to a high output of scrap, which, initially, in order to prevent a public outrage or tempt the CSE to ban cloning altogether, was kept a secret by the 'Echelon Biolabs'.

While the 'Echelon Biolabs' were demonstrating successes to the public, they were struggling with tremendous problems internally. The approval by the CSE had been granted under the condition that the diversity of the genetic pool of the species should be maintained, and that reproduction would still be possible the natural way between all members of society. Even the brightest among the scientists soon approached the limits of their inventiveness, and computer-controlled variation of the genetic pool soon led into evolutionary dead ends, or expressed more drastically, scrap. The corporation struggled hard to let mishappen clones disappear beneath the critical scrutiny of the public. As a result of this, starting from 2205, the now operational 'Artificial Intelligences' (AIs) were entrusted with the production of cloned humans and the variation of the genetic pool. It became apparent only months later in the form of aesthetic mutations and, later, people with seemingly supernatural abilities, the Psionics.

The first contact

Not only was 2192 the year in which 'Echelon Biolabs' started production of artificial humans at industrial scale. It was also the time at which existence of extraterrestrial life was verified once and for all. On a planet previously colonized by 'Allstar Colony Corporation', alien flora and fauna was found in the course of an exploration mission initiated by the CSE. Apparently, 'Allstar Colony' had tried to archive these spectacular discoveries, then get rid of them to be able to dismantle the resources of the planet without hindrance. Ownership of the planet changed to the Terran Star State for an unknown sum of money, and following this, life was shown to exist on many other worlds as well. Usually they were of harmless nature, but there were cases when careless scientists or even colonists fell victim to one of the local lifeforms. Still, evidence of intelligent life beyond humanity still remained to be shown for years after these discoveries.

The question whether another civilization besides humankind existed somehwere in space was answered no sooner than 2236, when a ship of "Compass", the scientific fleet of the CSE, established first contact to the extraterrestial civilization of the Ychon. Fortunately, this encounter was peaceful. In any case, the Ychon had not yet achieved as high a level of advancement in space travel technology as humanity. However, the distantly humanoid aliens had impressive knowledge in the field of nanotechnology. Long before the humans, they had uncovered the secret of self-reproducing nanobots and employed these insights to the benefit of their society. Thus, they could help humankind to a tremendous technological advance in exchange for interstellar space travel. In accordance with the interests of the Ychon, the CSE decided to exempt a conical section of space, extending outwards from the Ychon homeworld of Ysha in the Capella sector, from all further colonization plans. This is now recognized as the civilization space of the Ychon.

The fringe civilization

As a consequence of the activities of the 'Echelon Biolabs' in the field of human cloning and the high demand by the corporations, population had vastly increased in the years following 2200. Most of the new citizens had been transferred to the Rim and settled on hardly inviting worlds by the corporations. Compared to the Core, the technology which made life on foreign worlds convenient only hesitatingly found its way to the outer colonies. Unimpressed by this, the people started to build their culture on what little they had. This culture was based on a strong identity. Only few of the inhabitants of the Rim felt themselves a part of the Terran Star State at all. Their loyalty lay with their mother corporation, or with their own ideas of limitless freedom in the vastness of the Rim. A silent conflict thus began smoldering between the worlds of the Rim and those of the Core.

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